Unverified Voracity, Spaghetti Western Style

Submitted by Brian on June 1st, 2010 at 3:00 PM

O let's not, I guess. Sam Webb was on the WTKA this morning, as per usual, and dropped some major news: everyone in the class save two players is good to go academically. The two players in question are no surprise, as they've been rumored to be in danger for months. They are Antonio Kinard and Demar Dorsey.

Webb specifically avoids saying anything definitive, but also makes it clear that his lack of clarity is a necessary evil when talking about something as sensitive as a kid's academic status (for one, if the player is displeased lawsuit noises result) but the money quote:

If I was a Michigan fan I would not be optimistic about that at this point, about Demar Dorsey. … Would not be optimistic about Kinard.

Kinard was a kid Michigan took really early and never got any recruiting traction after that; I haven't taken a hard look at him yet but there's not a whole lot in his dossier to indicate his loss is going to be a heavy blow, especially since Michigan has some time to replace him. Dorsey, obviously, was a major recruit at a position of critical need and his probable loss is bad news for a secondary that needs options this fall. I'm super glad we all spent a week talking about how Dorsey was a menace to society in February. That was time well-spent.

Barwis/Mealer, again. The Toledo Blade spotlights Brock Mealer and his progress towards walking once more. The progress Brock has made in six months has been considerable:

Determining just how close Mr. Mealer is to walking is not precise, but Whiteman believes the squat rack is a good indicator.

When Mr. Mealer began training at UM six months ago, he needed 200 pounds of squat assistance from an accompanying machine - as well as the guidance of his arms - to complete a repetition.

He has since reduced the assistance to 80 pounds, and his arms never leave his side.

The hope is that once Mr. Mealer needs zero pounds of help, he'll remove his harness and be able to walk again.

If he can maintain that rate he'll be 20 pounds short by the time the UConn game rolls around, at which point the only thing holding him back from walking will be his enormous upper body. He's already able to get across the field with crutches.

Youtube victory. No one will ever take Michigan's crown as the college football kings of youtube. Wolverine Historian alone is good enough for the gold, and then here's this random thing that popped up in the feed reader:

I think a few months ago someone around here was talking about "Ecstasy of Gold" as a terribly underrated intro/clip reel song. They were correct.

Dun-dun duh duh. So the Dispatch wanders around and notices this quote from OSU's Brian Rolle:

"It's time for us to get better," he said. "Have guys like Marcus Freeman, who's not our position coach, help us do small things and go over things with him."

Marcus Freeman is a… wait for it… quality control assistant. Though the article later states that support staff "can't help players with football skills in any way," this could be on the up-and-up. If Freeman is certified as an S&C instructor and available to any athlete in the department, he can conduct workouts:

Strength and conditioning coaches who are not countable coaches and who perform such duties on a department-wide basis may design and conduct specific workout programs for student-athletes, provided such workouts are:

  • Voluntary.
  • Conducted at the request of the student-athlete.

Since I'm guessing the folks in the OSU football administration actually respond to requests from compliance the Buckeyes have probably figured out a way to make this kosher. Also likely kosher: the activities of the 22 employees added by Tressel over the course of his tenure at OSU.

I've gotten some emails suggesting that if the wool would just be lifted from my eyes I would see the dark conspiracy behind the persistent unresponsiveness of Draper and Labadie, but examples like OSU—where reporting secondary violations is a way of life—further illustrate how complete the fail was on their part. If OSU did something wrong here they'll find it, impose some light tickling on themselves, and avoid a year-long media firestorm. The torrent of secondary violations OSU reports is a healthy relationship between an athletic department attempting to push the edges and a compliance office that is informed about their doings. I'm guessing Freeman has done whatever kabuki he needs to do to be considered a viable instructor-type person. Michigan's main sin with the QC guys was not doing that kabuki because Scott Draper didn't submit three-page job description for months.

The thing about "everyone is doing it" is that this is a literal truth: other teams are literally doing the same things with various support staff. But because they did not have a completely dysfunctional setup in the athletic department they will not get hammered by the law.

Meanwhile, the NCAA is considering major changes to support staff, including the imposition of limits on the numbers available and clarifications on what they can do. That lends credence to the idea that Michigan's mistakes were good faith misinterpretatios.

Further Graham. Brandon Graham is not having any of it. What? Anything:

"People didn't give Coach Rod a chance once he first got there," Graham said after practice Wednesday. "He made us all better players. And I'm happy for what he's done for me the last two years. it's just that a lot people who really just wanted Coach Carr never gave Coach Rod a chance. All of those people making those allegations are wrong because Coach Rod tried to do everything by the book. And he made sure he let us know it's all about family and being together. The people that left (the program) wasn't our family, really. That's why they left."

That's all.

The 3-3-5 shift… eh… potentially overrated. Rodriguez on the shift to the 3-3-5, this time with some specifics that I think many of us thought might be the case after the spring game:

“The reality is Coach Robinson has run a lot of 3-4 and 3-3-5 stuff in his past and did some last year, even though people didn’t recognize it as much. And all we did in the spring was actually simplify things so there’s not a lot of big differences between what we did at times last year and what we did this spring. … It’s not what we ran at West Virginia, which when we left it was pure 3-3-5 and that was the deal and that’s what they grew up in. This was combining some things we did last year and simplifying some things so our young guys would be ready.”

I'm guessing the defense this year is a substantially more diverse version of the defense last year, and not particularly close to the pure stack Jeff Casteel runs.

Etc.: A man named La'el has committed to LSU. This, of course, is Spanish for "The The." Six Zero profiles the Mathlete who, like me, perceives a football game as an ever-shifting exercise in torturing probabilities. Oversigning.com continues to put the issue on more and more radars, largely by tweaking Alabama. God's work.


Monocle Smile

June 1st, 2010 at 3:22 PM ^

Just when does Dorsey's semester end? Last I heard, it wasn't for a couple more weeks. I wonder if Webb's comment was concerning current or predicted grades.


June 2nd, 2010 at 9:11 AM ^

Commencement for Demar's school in this Sunday. I would expect the grades are pretty much in by now, but maybe there is some time for makeups or retakes.

This could be ongoing of course, if he ends up re-taking a few classes in summer school, or retaking the ACT.

Lets just hope he makes it in this week. (Of course the official yes or no probably will take a week or so.


June 1st, 2010 at 3:26 PM ^

The local media will completely ignore Brandon Graham's comments. However, the academic shortcomings of Demar Dorsey and Antonio Kinard will be deemed worthy of the front page.


June 1st, 2010 at 4:35 PM ^

I expect at least one local radio personality to make some off-the-cuff remark that Demar should have spent more time studying and less time COMMITTING CRIMES!!!111!!


It does stink to know that he probably won't qualify, but I hope RR and the rest of the team sticks with him and he joins the team next year.  


June 1st, 2010 at 3:27 PM ^

Well, the good news is that we probably have a couple more spots in the 2011 recruiting class. 

This is not good news I wanted to have, however.  This is like saying it's good news that I have a lot more free time because I got fired. 


June 1st, 2010 at 3:39 PM ^

Can someone work up a chart comparing the work ethic, contribution and subsequent success of Brandon Graham vs. that of those that left the team with their mouths open and the detractors that opened them up afterward?

Thanks Brandon.


June 1st, 2010 at 3:57 PM ^

Does this mean dorsey probably never gets here? I know he'd have a chance to qualify after a yr at CC. Anyone know any examples of precedence and how likely this is?

Smitty D

June 1st, 2010 at 4:42 PM ^

my favorite Michigan player of all time


"People didn't give Coach Rod a chance once he first got there," Graham said after practice Wednesday. "He made us all better players. And I'm happy for what he's done for me the last two years. it's just that a lot people who really just wanted Coach Carr never gave Coach Rod a chance. All of those people making those allegations are wrong because Coach Rod tried to do everything by the book. And he made sure he let us know it's all about family and being together. The people that left (the program) wasn't our family, really. That's why they left."


June 2nd, 2010 at 4:32 PM ^

I really like Brandon's sentiment. I am sure that came through in his draft interviews and the coaches interviews. Team player, work ethic, sets goals and builds towards them in the face of diversity.

As for the guys that left: the ones that left with a professional demeanor (Mallett, McGuffie, Threet), I wish them the best. The ones that ran their mouths - I hope the NFL scouts take notice: hello, self centered whiner ... lazy work ethic ... might take off mid season to plow snow, etc.

Go Blue BG! We're watching you, and rooting for you.


June 1st, 2010 at 4:09 PM ^

The news is actually pretty old, we have known since signing day that both of these guys were question marks when it comes to qualifying.   I'm still hopeful that both will find a way to make it in. 

I'm hoping that Christian is the real deal at CB.

The other thing that Sam said, was that Marvin Robinson and his family have moved up to Ann Arbor and he is ready to start taking summer classes and conditioning with Barwis. 

J. Lichty

June 1st, 2010 at 5:14 PM ^

prep school is much better.  the student athlete will lose a year of eligibility for attending Juco and Michigan is reputed to be a tough place to transfer into with respect to recognition of credits.

If Dorsey goes the Juco route, he is as good as gone IME.

G Money

June 1st, 2010 at 4:40 PM ^

...but there's always some degree of tension when a new regime arrives, whether it's Rich at UM, Tressel at OSU, or Carrol at USC.

As long as folks aren't taking his headset off while he's trying to get the play in, it will have little REAL effect on what's going on.

Having spoke with a couple OSU fans, they were not thrilled at all (less thrilled than the average UM fan with Rich) with "settling on Tressel". And USC fans didn't think a so-so/mediocre NFL coach would be THE answer for turning around their program.

The bottom line is the guy who has the most to do with success is the head coach himself. It ain't mommy, the mole or some disenchanted alum.


June 1st, 2010 at 4:54 PM ^

Ecstacy of Gold: As far as I know, Big Boutros brought it up and I put out a diary on "ZOMG, it's the bomb!" Mostly becuase its got a little bit of hip hop and a little bit of football mixed in. It was written pre-jihad and now the lyrics seem even more appropriate.

Brandon Graham: love that guy.


June 1st, 2010 at 5:23 PM ^

... two takeaways:

1) Desmond was just about to do a second Heisman pose before he was swarmed by teammates.

2) Tom Brady was sporting a bowl cut that looked like it was done with an upside down salad bowl.  And still, owing to the power that is being a Michigan Man, he goes home to this (the REAL ecstasy of gold!):


Section 1

June 1st, 2010 at 5:31 PM ^

Point One:  Ken Gordon supplied the absolutely neccessary nuance --

"This isn't to pick on Freeman or Rolle. The Buckeyes are no different from dozens of major-college football programs, whose staff sizes have mushroomed in recent years as everyone seeks a competitive edge."

Point Two:  Ken Gordon actually talked to the OSU AD, Gene Smith, and the OC Jim Bollman, and got explanatory quotes from them.

"They have many legitimate duties, including video analysis of an opponent and preparing the playbooks.

'They are invaluable,' offensive coordinator Jim Bollman said of the support-staff members. "There are a million things that need to be done during the week."

But again, they can't help players with football skills in any way.

During spring practices, Freeman was on the field with the Buckeyes, as was another quality-control coach, Keith Uecker, a former college offensive line coach. That is allowable under NCAA rules, as long as Freeman or Uecker do not participate in coaching the players.

'They know their roles; they know who can coach and who can't," Smith said. "I'm pretty comfortable with our process; I don't have any concerns.'

Now, what local newspaper does that NOT remind you of?


June 2nd, 2010 at 9:31 AM ^

I'll lay odds that the Buckeye compliance department (like many others) have been watching our case very closely and quietly adjusting job descriptions, requirements (in the case af part time S&C staff) and restrictions.

We're just the unlucky S.O.B.'s that get to define what is not allowed (where it was previously il-defined) by example. Thanks Freep. Thanks a lot.


June 1st, 2010 at 6:48 PM ^

I mean, come on, since February I've been placing bowl after bowl of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner on the altar and what do we get in return? Demar Dorsey unlikely to be eligible.

I'm just not seeing the return on investment in worshipping this deity anymore.  So much anger!

Any advice?



June 2nd, 2010 at 9:21 PM ^

...OSU student.  Of course, that's by default.  It's still true.

A graduate student in public policy at Ohio State - yes, Mr. Mealer is enrolled at the rival school to the south - he typically makes two trips from Columbus to Ann Arbor a week.

A hand control was installed in his Pontiac G6, allowing him to operate the accelerator and brake. Audio tapes of his textbooks are the usual soundtrack during his trips.  And, of course, there's the wheelchair broken down in the back seat. Attached to it is a UM sticker, which predictably receives a lot of attention in Columbus.

"It's not anything I like to flaunt, but it's cool to have people ask about that," Mr. Mealer said. "I always tell them it's a long story. Once they get to know me, they're quite receptive to everything and say, 'I can see why you'd like Michigan.'"

I trust Madej and crew to do this right, but God I hope ABC makes an effort to show this.


June 3rd, 2010 at 3:22 PM ^

The possible ABC fail is pushing me towards getting back to A2 for this game. There will be too many things going on that we've been waiting so long for: 1. See how are team is 2. how many people can we fit into this "new" stadium and 3. Brock walking out entire team out onto the field to a massive welcome and start to the 2010 season. Can. Not. Wait.

justin eddy1

June 2nd, 2010 at 3:28 PM ^

hey i made that ecstasy of gold video. Im so glad you guys like it. I got the idea for that song off a world cup highlight video and i thought it would be great  for Michigan football

Flyin' Blue

June 2nd, 2010 at 11:57 PM ^

The Ennio Morricone-esque western theme to that Ecstasy of Gold video makes me giddy to think that one day we will again ride into the Big House with guns blazing....